Commissioner, Engineering Performance and Monitoring

Frank Nwoye OkaforProf. Frank Nwoye Okafor

Commissioner, Engineering Performance and Monitoring

Professor Okafor was born in Ogidi, Anambra State. He attended the famous Boys Secondary School, Ogidi (1973-1977), where he passed WAEC in Grade 1 Distinction. Later, he proceeded to the prestigious University of Lagos where he earned three degrees: a B.Sc. (Hons.), Electrical Engineering (1984), M. Phil., Electrical and Electronics Engineering (1987) and Ph.D in Electrical Power and Control Engineering (1993).    

He started his career at the University of Lagos as Graduate Assistant between 1985-1988 during which he developed Computer Aided Control System Design Tools for Research and Training. At the peak of Grid collapse in the 1990s, he developed a two-area control structure for the Nigerian Power System and deployed a robust non-linear controller for Automatic generation Control (AGC) to improve grid stability.
He was a German Research Foundation Post-doctoral Fellow at the Technical University of (TU) Chemnitz, Germany, 2000-2001. While there, he designed the fully Controlled Doubly Fed Induction Generator (DFIG) for Wind Energy Conversion, best suited for low, very high wind speeds and emergency situations. A foremost Power Software development Company, DigiSilent GmbH, deployed the scheme as the first standard model for variable speed constant frequency (VSCF) generating Plants based on DFIG. On account of his works, he was appointed staff of Electrical Engineering Faculty at TU Chemnitz for a brief period due to home call. Prof. Okafor was appointed Professor (visiting) at the Technical University (TU) Dresden, Germany (January 2003) with focus on High Voltage Test Techniques for power components.

On return, he was appointed pioneer Scientific Coordinator, High Voltage Technology Centre (HIVOTEC), a Public-Private Partnership involving, UNILAG, ABB Nigeria, NEPA etc. devoted to High Voltage Techniques and Power Engineering. Here, he successfully developed modules for Type Tests for locally produced high voltage components notably, Polymeric Insulators (up to 132kV), Fibre Cross Arms (up to 33kV) and Routine Tests for conductors (up to 132kV). In 2006-2007, he was appointed Project Manager (System Studies) for the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) where he led an in-house team to successfully perform Integration and Evacuation Studies for the 10 NIPP power Plants. The three-volume report was implemented and impacted on the rating of circuit Breakers. One major outcome is the reality that committed transmission infrastructure can barely evacuate the NIPP phase 1 plants under N-0 condition. That reality is now with us with a number of the NIPP power plants being commissioned. Another major outcome of the study is the discovery of low frequency oscillatory modes after fault recovery, necessitating the recommendation of Power System Stabilizers (PSS) for each plant. NIPP accepted the recommendation and revised the scope of each plant to include PSS to improve stability.

He was head of Electrical & Electronics Engineering Department in Unilag from 2008 only to be appointed Director General (DG) of the project in 2010, a position he holds till January 2017 when he was appointed a Commissioner in the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC). He has edited several books and conference proceedings and has over 60 publications in learned journals and conference proceedings. He is an accredited consultant in Evacuation Studies, Power Quality and Environmental Impact Assessment.

Prof. Okafor’s several awards include the German Research Foundation Fellowship (2000) and Best PhD Thesis Award in Engineering (2011) with his student from National Universities Commission (NUC). He is a registered Engineer, a Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (2003), a member of IEEE-USA, German Society of Electrical Engineers (VDE) and a fellow of the prestigious Nigerian Academy of Engineering (FAEng).
Prof. Okafor is married to Dr. Mrs. Ogechi Okafor and the marriage is blessed with children.